From time to time we all need a little R&R (rest and relaxation). All work and no play makes Jack/Jill (or Bill, or Sue, or you) a dull boy/girl, or so the saying goes. That saying is very, very true. Weariness and fatigue, whether its physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, diminishes our strength and deafens our ability to hear God speak. If we can’t hear God clearly or don’t have enough strength to obey him when he speaks, we are in trouble.
God created rest and he even accessed it after Creation. He worked, according to Scripture, six days and rested on the seventh. In fact, He is still at rest and invites each of us to enter that rest with him. His pattern is to be our pattern. That’s why he created a sabbath rest. Many argue that this must be the seventh day (Saturday or Sunday depending on your particular religious label), but that is an argument from the letter or the Law, not an argument for the principle of the Law. Jesus confronted the religious nit-pickers of his day and in very plain words declared that we were not created for the sabbath, but rather the sabbath was created for us. He was huge on the principles, but not the specific letters this or that group preferred.
We all need some time to re-connect with God each week. We were never meant to work 24-7-365 days a year. And from time to time, we need a few sabbaths bound together in what we commonly call a vacation. We all need to find that place where “nobody knows our name and no one knows we came.” We need a little time to unplug from the computer, the cell phone, and all the important people who clamor for our attention, so that we can rest our body, soul, and spirit. Vacations are good and necessary things. A vacation is nothing more than a little time away from the things that suck the life out of us. That might be a few hours in the back yard with a glass of ice tea and magazine. It might be a day on the lake with the family. It might be a thirty minute walk around the neighborhood. It might even be a week or two at a national park or resort.
From time to time, Jesus pulled away from the pressure of ministry and the demands of the people around him. He would often slip into the wilderness or up a mountain to talk all alone with his heavenly Father. As you read the New Testament, it is amazing how a little R&R empowered our Lord. If he needed it, we can be certain that we do even more so.
Today might be a good time to assess the fuel in your tank. Are you running on fumes or coasting because the tank is dry? If so, take some time for yourself and rest. I know all the excuses, but none of them will matter if you’re dead. Weariness and stress are major contributors to sickness and disease. And…as you well know–sickness and disease are the number one killers of human beings. In fact, just think about this for a moment, most of those things you think no one can do but you will be done by someone else fifteen minutes after you stop breathing. So–take a chill pill and relax a little. You and I are not as important as we think.